Chiefs at Ekumfi in the Central Region last Monday held a press conference in reaction to President Akufo-Addo’s comment that he did not pay attention to development needs of the Ekumfi area because the people rejected his choice of Parliamentary candidate in the 2020 election.
Speaking at the press conference on Monday (January 29, 2024), the Paramount Chief of the area, Odeefo Akyin VIII said the tenets of democracy included the ability of the people to freely elect who they deem fit to be their representative in Parliament.
“Per our understanding of the very Constitution which recognises free and fair elections, one of which made His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the President, there is no provision in the 1992 Constitution which mandates the President to decide who the people of Ekumfi or for that matter any other constituency must elect to represent them in Parliament as their legislature.”
For him, the chiefs and people in the area are extremely shocked at the President’s pronouncement that he had not paid attention to the area’s development needs because they did not vote for his preferred parliamentary candidate in the 2020 election.
“We are extremely shocked by those statements and struggle to believe same to be true because we particularly did not believe that the President, who is mandated by the Constitution to be responsible for the development of the country, could politically segregate the country and treat others with disdain and dislike; and vehemently deny us development because we did not vote for his preferred candidate,” he remarked.
It will be recalled that recently, some chiefs and family members of the late President Mills paid a visit to President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House where they demanded the autopsy of Prof. Mills and also urged the President to pay attention to the development needs of the Ekumfi area.
It was this request by President Mills’ family that President Akufo-Addo said he had not pay attention to the development needs of the Ekumfi area because the people did not vote for his preferred parliamentary candidate.
However, Odeefo Akyin VIII said it was within the democratic rights of the people in the area to choose whoever they deem fit to represent them in Parliament and that President Akufo-Addo has no right to decide for the people.
“We ,therefore, cannot fathom why the President has abandoned all ongoing developmental projects in the constituency, particularly the construction of roads in Ekumfi.”
He also called on President Akufo-Addo to provide data on what the former Member of Parliament for the area, Ato Cudjoe, did for the people of Ekumfi, saying “Our belief is that an accurate data would justify the President’s claim that Honourable Ato Cudjoe should have been retained by the people of Ekumfi.”
“Our call comes on the heels of the fact that the same Honourable Ato Cudjoe who is preferred by the President and whose exit from Parliament has become the reason the President has neglected Ekumfi, has once again lost miserably in the NPP’s internal party primaries to elect a parliamentary candidate for the 2024 General Election. If the President’s own party folks could reject Honourable Ato Cudjoe, why must the Chiefs and people of Ekumfi suffer for his exit in 2020?” Odeefo Akyin VIII remarked.
In addition, he said, “We are deeply worried about the statement made by the President as it has called into question the people’s democratic ‘right to vote freely.’ After all, the tenets of democracy include the ability of the people to freely elect who they deem fit to be their representative in Parliament, he stated.
For him, the people of Ekumfi only exercised their democratic right during the last election and this right must never be used as a tool for punishment, by the very President who is enjoined by the 1992 Constitution and his own Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution of the country.
Late President Mills’ autopsy
On the autopsy report differences between some family members of the late President J.E.A. Mills, the chiefs said Prof. Mills was an indigene of Ekumfi, who died while still serving the country as a President.
He said with his immediate siblings and families still alive, the Ekumfi chiefs expected President Mills’ family to work closely with the state to put all contentious issues surrounding the death of Prof. Mills to an end.
“We the Nananom of Ekumfi would have loved to stay back and allow his family-clan and particularly his siblings to effectively collaborate with the state to put the issue to rest, so our dear Professor could rest in peace,” he said.
“But it does appear that some narratives and aspersions do robe us in, and often cast some innuendoes that directly and negatively affect us as Nananom and people of Ekumfi.”
Odeefo Akyin VIII said if the extended or any member of the family had issues with the autopsy report, they could jaw-jaw with the immediate family to have their disagreement settled once and for all, than resorting to media banter.
“Nananom wish to state that the raging back and forth is not just appalling but also disgraceful and disgusting; projecting the family as a disintegrated one,” he stated.
He said the traditional area will take a strong action against anyone or group of persons purported to come from Ekumfi or elsewhere, and who allow themselves to be used to perpetuate such disgraceful and malicious act.
“The late Professor Atta Mills must be allowed to rest in peace,” Odeefo Akyin VIII stated.
Source – Graphic online